The Evolution of a Halloween Costume

This year my feeling on Halloween costumes remains unchanged.  If I can make it cheap or find it cheap, it works. I just hate paying much for costumes unless it’s an unbelievable deal, simply because I have a hard time with the idea of purchasing something that may be worn once.  When I was a kid we usually had homemade costumes that could be worn as something else later like pajamas.  To this day I still love that idea!

Last year's costumes.  I did buy his because I found one super cheap.  We took the extra step of making it light up.

Last year’s costumes. I did buy his because I found one super cheap. We took the extra step of making it light up.

The Professor has a timeline of different costumes that he is going to wear for Halloween from now until he turns 32.  Every year a superhero, every year a different one.  Last year he was Iron Man.  At the same time he chose that costume, he announced his candidacy for Batman for the following year.

I really didn’t want to buy a costume again this year.  All of the promises that he would use it for pretend play didn’t happen.  So I’m trying to go a different route, figuring I’d make the cape and find him things he could use again.  However, finding a long-sleeve Batman shirt in the right size was a little difficult!  I finally found him a long sleeved shirt that had thermal sleeves.  How do you cover up thermal sleeves?  You make a cape with sleeves, that’s how!  Here is the link to the pattern we ended up using:

I found instructions on a number of sites on how to make a Batman symbol and mask out of felt, and how to make a utility belt out of yellow duct tape.  In the end I actually spray painted a cat mask that I found in the Hobby Lobby clearance!  I used a roll of the tape and an empty fettucine box to make a rather cool utility belt.  I even made a bat light.  And yes, loyal batman fans, I realize that batman wasn’t the one that actually used the bat light.  Details, details…


He’s a pretty cute batman…

And then there was the other child, the one that changes her mind every 28 seconds about her costume.  At least until she came up with this idea last month:

“Mommy, I want to be a dancing flower for Halloween.”

“A flower?  Like a flower around your head flower?”

“Yes.  A dancing flower.”

So we googled “homemade flower costume”.  I can tell you this, that flower costumes range from the adorable to “what does this have to do with a flower”?

She kept looking at the baby costumes.  I reminded her that she is not a baby.

Reprinted with permission from Coolest Homemade Costumes.

Image used with permission from Coolest Homemade Costumes.

We finally found one that seemed to be the closest to what we were envisioning.  It was on a website called Coolest Homemade Costumes, as seen in the image above.   I found a green shirt with sparkles, and coordinating material.


Shirt from Wal-mart and material to make a tutu from JoAnn Fabrics!

As it got closer to the time where she needed the costume, I started to panic.  I have PTSD from first grade and therefore am totally paralyzed with fear when it came to the head part of the costume.


In my first grade class I had to play a flower in Mary Mary Quite Contrary’s garden.  Whoever made the tops had to be a person who loved inflicting pain upon small children.  That part of the costume was so heavy it weighed my head down and cut into my chin.  I can close my eyes and feel that stupid flower on my head.

Somehow I convinced her that perhaps a crown was better.  Then I came home a few days later and found her watching Sixteen Candles (I guess she’d been watching 101 Dalmations on ABC Family and Dad just never changed the channel, I guess it could have been worse).  You know the wedding scene at the end where all of the bridesmaids have flower crowns?  She was sold.  Easy peasy.  We were now a “Dancing Flower Princess” complete with a homemade hippie girl floral crown!

Our beautiful dancing flower princess, crooked crown and all!

Our beautiful dancing flower princess, crooked crown and all!

I can’t take credit for any of the sewing on either of the costumes, my mom is really good at sewing and volunteered her services.  She ended up making the cape and the tutu.  I stuck to the things that were more my speed-the non-sewing parts.

I will offer one word of caution if you are thinking about making a sparkly tutu:  the sparkles come off.  I am not kidding!  By the time we were done with her costume it had looked like we either had a glitter fight or had invited a bunch of strippers over for lunch.  There were sparkles EVERYWHERE!  On the floor, on the furniture, all over me and my mom.  I went into work to get something and my boss looked at me and said “Do you know you’re sparkly?”  Why yes, yes I do.  As a matter of fact, Monday was the first opportunity to show off their costumes at the library, where the kids decorated pumpkins in their costumes. Apparently she still had plenty of sparkles to lose-the library was also quite glittery in the aftermath…

Why is that?  To quote the great philosopher…

Glitter (2)Did you make your kids’ Halloween costumes this year or did you buy them?  Any stories you’d like to share?

22 thoughts on “The Evolution of a Halloween Costume

  1. I love both their costumes so much. I always tell my kids homemade are the very best. They don’t really buy it all that much. I’m so cheap that one year I had them wear their dirt bike riding gear, another year all their skateboard attire. Abbie was always easy. The cat mask is a dead on batman, I would have never known.

  2. Halloween is my family’s favourite holiday. I think it even surpasses Christmas in many ways. Themes are chosen and plans are made months in advance. Patterns, materials assembled. Mad sewing. The worst year was when I decided that all of my kids needed to be dragons. On October 30. I literally spent the entire night sewing. Finished at 6:50 the next morning. But they all went to school as happy little dragons. Our costume collection has its own room. 99.9% home sewn. Have I mentioned we love Halloween? 🙂

  3. I really like the idea of a homemade costume. Much better than the store-bought clones, any day! Love the end results!

  4. OMG I am so in awe of your skills right now that it’s not even funny. Dude. WOW. I’m serious that you so totally rock. I am jealous and your kids are lucky kids!

  5. I love homemade costumes. My favourite homemade costumes for my son were an eggplant (when he was 2) and a cellphone (at 3). Now that the kids are 8 and 10, they insist on store-bought costumes. Not nearly as much fun if you ask me.

  6. My mom used to make all of mine. She was a sewing wizard. One year I wanted to be a card….ace of spades. I got the idea from Alice in Wonderland (the cartoon) and she nailed it. Shawn and I make our own costumes. One year we went as Ricky Bobby and Cal from Taledega nights. It was awesome.
    But for Chunky….he’s a costume diva. I was going to attempt a Lego figure but found one in the store. I hate shelling out dough for Halloween but he will probably wear this every day.
    You’re a master oh glittery one. I love your creativity girl.

  7. I know I KNOW I read this before… why didn’t I comment??? Ugh. See how distracted I am? So sorry!
    I am in awe of ANYONE who attempts to make their costumes… I am all about hand me downs. Once upon a child is RIGHT down the store!! LUCKY ME! 😉 XO

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